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The ancients called these venerable offshore volcanoes the Enchanted Isles for a good reason - the scenery is spectacular. And the largest of archipelago, Madeira, is one of the prettiest islands in the world. Located 440 miles off the coast of Africa deep in the Atlantic Ocean, this sub-tropical paradise with mild year round temperatures has been attracting travellers for centuries.
They come for its genteel gardens, and its tidy red-roofed cottages, set against a backdrop of steeply rising sea cliffs pounded dramatically by a frothing ocean. And they come for its grand hotels – led by Belmond Reid’s Palace at its delightful, dreamy heart.
Regularly voted one of Europe’s Top 30 resorts by readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine, it offers 158 rooms, including 35 suites, with balconies or terraces that boast expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean or Funchal Harbour.
There are several categories of rooms, starting with the Charming Rooms and up to the Presidential, Churchill and Bernard Shaw Suites. Think crisp, embroidered bedspreads and luxurious marble bathrooms, with wicker chairs and tables in which to settle down and enjoy the views.
There are three swimming pools, two of which are heated, plus one tidal, seawater pool. Activities include tennis, snooker and dancing classes. Keen golfers can visit Madeira’s two championship golf courses, Palheiro Golf and Santo da Serra, where hotel guests are guaranteed advance tee times and discounted green fees. For nature and garden lovers there are many spectacular walks and visits to estates and grand homes.
Dining options at the hotel start with breakfast in The Garden Room—known for its bounty of fresh tropical fruits. There’s the Pool Restaurant with its generous buffet offering dishes made with locally grown organic produce, and the hotel’s new William restaurant, named after the hotel’s visionary founder, William Reid.
The Dining Room, with its Edwardian-inspired décor, features glamorous Murano Glass chandeliers. Guests dress to impress (a jacket for the boys, please) and are transported back in time. Highlights include the dinner dance on Mondays and the Champagne buffet on Sundays.
The Villa Cipriani restaurant is the hotel’s informal Italian restaurant, perched on a cliff top with dramatic views over the ocean from its al fresco terrace, where homemade pasta and other regional Italian dishes rule. Before dinner, head to the Cocktail Bar for signature house drinks, while enjoying more commanding views over the bay.
And a stay here is not complete without afternoon tea on the terrace—an iconic occasion dating back to the hotel’s earliest days. Around 60 guests gather daily for delicious cakes and the hotel’s, own-blend tea.
Part of Orient-Express Hotels (now Belmond) since 1996, the hotel underwent a stunning €8.5 million renovation project in 2006, with interiors overseen by designer Graham Viney. New additions included two suites in the main house with sweeping views over the Bay of Funchal and a beautiful spa with treatment rooms and a deck overlooking the ocean.
Step into a world of timeless elegance at Belmond Reid’s Palace, a breathtaking island retreat overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. For more than 120 years this graceful hotel, set in 10 acres of lush gardens, has delighted guests with its mix of refined luxury, discreet service and superb, contemporary cuisine. On the “Island of Eternal Spring”, discover a place you will never want to leave…Download Factsheet